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Samuel Director
Florida Atlantic University
  1. Civil Liberties in a Lockdown: The Case of COVID-19.Samuel Director & Christopher Freiman - 2023 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1 (6):1-24.
    In response to the spread of COVID-19, governments across the world have, with very few exceptions, enacted sweeping restrictive lockdown policies that impede citizens’ freedom to move, work, and assemble. This paper critically responds to the central arguments for restrictive lockdown legislation. We build our critique on the following assumption: public policy that enjoys virtually unanimous support worldwide should be justified by uncontroversial moral principles. We argue that that the virtually unanimous support in favor of restrictive lockdowns is not adequately (...)
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  2. Dementia and Concurrent Consent to Sexual Relations.Samuel Director - 2023 - Hastings Center Report 53 (3):37-45.
    Philosophers have become newly interested in the ethics of sex. One promising feature of this new discussion is that it has been broadening our moral lens to include individuals whose sexual interests have historically been denied or ignored. One such group is the elderly. Contrary to popular belief, many elderly people want to have sex and see it as a regular part of their lives. If society harbors ignorance about or prejudice against elderly sexuality, it harbors stronger views against the (...)
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  3. Framing Effects Do Not Undermine Consent.Samuel Director - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.
    Suppose that a patient is receiving treatment options from her doctor. In one case, the doctor says, “the surgery has a 90% survival rate.” Now, suppose the doctor instead said, “the procedure has a 10% mortality rate.” Predictably, the patient is more likely to consent on the first description and more likely to dissent on the second. This is an example of a framing effect. A framing effect occurs when “the description of [logically-equivalent] options in terms of gains (positive frame) (...)
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  4.  97
    Bipolar Disorder and Competence.Samuel Director - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics.
    Josh is a typical 27-year-old in a career that he enjoys and a successful marriage. Josh begins to exhibit the symptoms of a manic episode. He is soon diagnosed with bipolar disorder. While non-manic, Josh’s preferences are typical. While manic, his preferences change dramatically. He quits his job, cheats on his partner, and squanders his savings. These are behaviors that Josh, when non-manic (euthymic), would never agree to. When Josh returns to a euthymic state, he regrets these decisions. Should those (...)
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  5. Informed consent, price transparency, and disclosure.Samuel Director - 2023 - Bioethics 37 (8):741-747.
    In the American medical system, patients do not know the final price of treatment until long after the treatment is given, at which point it is too late to say “no.” I argue that without price disclosure many, perhaps all, tokens of consent in clinical medicine fall below the standard of valid, informed consent. This is a sweeping and broad thesis. The reason for this thesis is surprisingly simple: medical services rarely have prices attached to them that are known to (...)
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  6. A Dilemma for Saulish Skepticism: Either Self-Defeating or Not Even Skepticism.Samuel Director - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (48):43-55.
    Jennifer Saul argues that the evidence from the literature on implicit biases entails a form of skepticism. In this paper, I argue that Saul faces a dilemma: her argument is either self-defeating, or it does not yield a skeptical conclusion. For Saul, both results are unacceptable; thus, her argument fails.
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  7. Justice in the Laws, a Restatement: Why Plato Endorses Public Reason.Samuel Director - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2):184-203.
    In the Laws, Plato argues that the legislator should attempt to persuade people to voluntarily obey the laws. This persuasion is accomplished through use of legislative preludes. Preludes (also called preambles) are short arguments written into the legal code, which precede laws and give reasons to follow them. In this paper, I argue that Plato’s use of persuasive preludes shows that he endorses the core features of a public reason theory of political justification. Many philosophers argue that Plato’s political philosophy (...)
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  8. Speciesism, Prejudice, and Epistemic Peer Disagreement.Samuel Director - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (1):1-20.
    Peter Singer famously argues that speciesism, like racism and sexism, is based on a preju-dice. As Singer argues, since we reject racism and sexism, we must also reject speciesism. Since Singer articulated this line of reasoning, it has become a widespread argument against speciesism. Shelly Kagan has recently critiqued this argument, claiming that one can endorse speciesism with-out doing so on the basis of a prejudice. In this paper, I defend Kagan’s conclusion (that one can endorse speciesism without being prejudiced). (...)
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  9. Consent’s dominion: Dementia and prior consent to sexual relations.Samuel Director - 2019 - Bioethics 33 (9):1065-1071.
    In this paper, I answer the following question: suppose that two individuals, C and D, have been in a long-term committed relationship, and D now has dementia, while C is competent; if D agrees to have sex with C, is it permissible for C to have sex with D? Ultimately, I defend the view that, under certain conditions, D can give valid consent to sex with C, rendering sex between them permissible. Specifically, I argue there is compelling reason to endorse (...)
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  10. Global Public Reason, Diversity, and Consent.Samuel Director - 2019 - Philosophical Papers 48 (1):31-57.
    In this paper, I examine global public reason as a method of justifying a global state. Ultimately, I conclude that global public reason fails to justify a global state. This is the case, because global public reason faces an unwinnable dilemma. The global public reason theorist must endorse either a hypothetical theory of consent or an actual theory of consent; if she endorses a theory of hypothetical consent, then she fails to justify her principles; and if she endorses a theory (...)
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  11. Sober Thoughts on Drunken Consent.Samuel Director - 2022 - Social Theory and Practice 48 (2):235-261.
    Drunken sex is common. Despite how common drunken sex is, we think very uncritically about it. In this paper, I want to examine whether drunk individuals can consent to sex. Specifically, I answer this question: suppose that an individual, D, who is drunk but can still engage in reasoning and communication, agrees to have sex with a sober individual, S; is D’s consent to sex with S morally valid? I will argue that, within a certain range of intoxication, an individual (...)
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  12. Intuitions, Biases, and Extra‐Wide Reflective Equilibrium.Samuel Director - 2020 - Metaphilosophy 51 (5):674-684.
    It seems that intuitions are indispensable in philosophical theorizing. Yet, there is evidence that our intuitions are heavily influenced by biases. This generates a puzzle: we must use our intuitions, but we seemingly cannot fully trust those very intuitions. In this paper, I develop a methodology for philosophical theorizing which attempts to avoid this puzzle. Specifically, I develop and defend a methodology that I call Extra-Wide Reflective Equilibrium. I argue that this method allows us to use intuitions, while also providing (...)
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  13.  63
    Why the Perfect Being Theologian Cannot Endorse the Principle of Alternative Possibilities.Samuel Director - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (4):113-131.
    I argue that perfect being theologians cannot endorse the Principle of Alternative Possibilities. On perfect being theology, God is essentially morally perfect, meaning that He always acts in a morally perfect manner. I argue that it is possible that God is faced with a situation in which there is only one morally perfect action, which He must do. If this is true, then God acts without alternative possibilities in this situation. Yet, unless one says that this choice is not free, (...)
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  14. Of Blood Transfusions and Feeding Tubes: Anorexia-Nervosa and Consent.Samuel Director - 2021 - Public Affairs Quarterly 35 (4):247–276.
    Individuals suffering from anorexia-nervosa experience dysmorphic perceptions of their body and desire to act on these perceptions by refusing food. In some cases, anorexics want to refuse food to the point of death. In this paper, I answer this question: if an anorexic, A, wants to refuse food when the food would either be life-saving or prevent serious bodily harm, can A’s refusal be valid? I argue that there is compelling reason to think that anorexics can validly refuse food, even (...)
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  15. The inhumanity of cards against humanity.Samuel Director - 2018 - Think 17 (48):39-50.
    In general, it is morally wrong to joke about the suffering of a category of people while in front of a person who fits into this category. I argue that, when people play the game Cards Against Humanity, it is likely that they do this very action. Thus, I conclude that it is morally wrong to play Cards Against Humanity.
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  16.  97
    Tom Dougherty, The Scope of Consent, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021), 192 pages. ISBN: 9780192894793. Hardback: $70.00. [REVIEW]Samuel Director - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
  17.  8
    Bloody bioethics: why prohibiting plasma compensation harms patients and wrongs donors. Taylor, James Stacey. Routledge: New York, 2022. 204 pp. ISBN 9781032203867. $160 (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Samuel Director - 2022 - Bioethics 36 (9):997-998.
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  18.  6
    Bloody bioethics: why prohibiting plasma compensation harms patients and wrongs donors. Taylor, James Stacey. Routledge: New York, 2022. 204 pp. ISBN 9781032203867. $160 (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Samuel Director - 2022 - Bioethics 36 (9):997-998.
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  19.  22
    Christopher Freiman, Unequivocal Justice. New York, Routledge, 2017. ISBN 9-781-13862822-9, $140, Hbk. [REVIEW]Samuel Director - 2019 - Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (2):331-337.